Covering The Multicultural Asian American Community in Georgia
www.gasiantimes.com January 1-15, 2018
Happy New Year 2018
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
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GAT Calendar of Events GAT welcome submission of announcement pertaining to community related events. Please email event, date, venue, and time to firstname.lastname@example.org. GAT does not guarantee insertion of event announcement and has the right to deny any posting.
Chinese Business Association of Atlanta (CBAA) 25th Annual Meeting Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018 Time: 5:30 pm Venue: Oriental Pearl Seafood, 5399 New Peachtree Road, Chamblee, GA 30041 For more info: Richard Li 678.488.0085 NACA Chinese New Year Fundraising Gala Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018 Time: 6:00 pm Venue: Canton House, Buford Highway For more info: www.naca-atlanta.org New American Hero Awards Gala Presented by Korean American Friendship Society Date: February 23, 2018 Time: 6:00 pm Venue: Le Meridien Hotel, 4400 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Atlanta, GA 30346
January 1-15,2018 Georgia Asian Times
METRO ASIAN NEWS
Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Georgia (PACCGA) introduce new leadership at annual dinner Chamblee, January 9, 2018 — The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia (PACCGA) held its annual installation of board members and officers at its annual dinner. Maureen Rouhi, PhD, Director of Communication at Georgia Tech’s College of Sciences, delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. Philippines Honorary Consul General Ray Donato presided over the induction and installation of 2018 PACCGA officers and Board members. Ana Blackburn is officially inducted as the 2018 PACCGA President. The 2018 PACCGA board members and officers are:
Ana Blackburn, President Meg Bhuiyan, Vice President Marie Wiliams, Secretary Daisie Coloma, Treasurer Ken Oroceo, Membership Director Pia Valeriano, Immediate Past President/PRO Isabel Fiorella, Programs and Director Tito Espina, Audit Director Cecil Pacetti, Finance Administration Director Eleanor Mae Pascual, Community Outreach Director Anne Marie Logarta, Tourism, Trade & Industry Director Cherish Dela Cruz, Legal Counsel Didi O’Connor, Advisor Willy Blanco, Parlimentarian
Asian American college student decomposed body found at Gwinnett Place Mall Duluth, January 10, 2018 — A Georgia State University student whose body was found at a Georgia Place Mall had been dead for about two weeks, according to Gwinnett Police.
The 19-year-old initially disappeared Oct. 8, but returned home shortly after a relative contacted police. Two days later, Man went missing again, according to authorities.
Silling A. Man, a Georgia State University sophomore, was discovered Dec. 21 in a vacant Subway restaurant at Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
No missing persons report was filed over her second disappearance.
The cause of her death was not released, but officials noted that her body was in an “advance state of decomposition,” according to the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Police said Man was last seen Nov. 20 when she picked up a paycheck at Perimeter Mall where she worked.
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
Florida takes on Georgia in US Supreme Court over water Washington DC, January 5, 2018 -- : The US Supreme Court heard arguments on Monday in a bitter fight over water pitting two American states against each other. On one side in the decades-old dispute is the state of Georgia. On the other is its southern neighbour, Florida. Florida v. Georgia concerns the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers, which originate in Georgia, join to become the Apalachicola River and flow downstream into Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida is seeking to have restrictions imposed on how much water Georgia can use from the rivers, arguing that the state’s once-lucrative oyster industry in Apalachicola Bay is drying up. “Florida has suffered real harm as a
result of Georgia’s ever-increasing consumption of upstream waters,” Gregory Garre, an attorney for the state, told the nine Supreme Court justices. “Georgia’s consumption is unreasonable and largely unrestrained,” Garre said. Georgia argues that the water is needed to provide for farmers in the state, as well as for Atlanta, a thriving metropolis of more than five million people that is also the headquarters of Coca-Cola. “Florida has not made the case that it needs more water at a time when there is plenty of rain and water in the system,” said Craig Primis, an attorney for Georgia. “That water just will wash out to sea and won’t benefit anybody,” Primis said.
Justice Elena Kagan appeared to lend a sympathetic ear to the arguments of Florida, but it was unclear from Monday’s arguments how the court will rule. “You have common sense on your side,” Kagan told the attorney from Florida. Apalachicola Bay in Florida’s panhandle on the state’s “Forgotten Coast” was among the top oyster-producing regions in the country until recently. Apalachicola Bay once provided 10% of the oysters in the United States and 90%of those sold in Florida. But the oyster fishery collapsed in 2012 because of drought, over-fishing, and increased salinity in the bay due to decreased freshwater flow. To save its oyster industry, Florida launched a legal battle two decades
ago which has cost tens of millions of dollars. Ralph Lancaster, a court-appointed “special master” named to look into the case, found last year that Florida had suffered from the reduced flow of the rivers. But he determined that no remedy could be found without the participation of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The corps controls five dams on the Chattahoochee River but it is not a party to the lawsuit and answers to Congress.
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Trump administration toughens stance on recreational marijuana
Washington DC, January 5, 2018 -- The US Justice Department on Thursday reversed official policy that had tolerated the growing state-based movement to legalize marijuana sales, just three days after California formally permitted recreational use of the drug. Announcing a “return to the rule of law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded five key memos issued by the administration of president Barack Obama that discouraged enforcement of federal laws, which still classify marijuana as a dangerous narcotic like heroin. That reversed the election campaign stance by President Donald Trump favoring state marijuana laws, and set up a potential clash with the six US states that have already moved ahead to legalize pot sales. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Alaska and California have legalized sales, while Massachusetts is planning to do so this year, and legalization is under debate in Maine. “It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions said in a statement. Sessions did not order a new crackdown on pot sales and use, but told
federal prosecutors they could act as they see fit in their districts, leaving the course of implementation unclear.
Clash with states He directed federal attorneys “to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.” Nevertheless, the move was seen as a signal that the government is likely to resist more legalization and decriminalization of cannabis, if not try to reverse the trend. The pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project said Sessions’ shift would only encourage the illegal drug trade and harm people using marijuana as a medicine, which 29 states have legalized. “We really need Congress to take action so that Sessions no longer has the authority to decide whether or not the federal government should interfere in state level marijuana laws,” said Matt Schweich, MPP interim executive director. Politicians and officials from several states lashed out at Sessions’ move, most indicating they will continue to back recreational pot sales.
“In California, we decided it was best to regulate, not criminalize, cannabis… After all, this is 2018 not the 20th century,” California state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “At the California Department of Justice we intend to vigorously enforce our state’s laws and protect our state’s interests.” The US Attorney for Colorado, Bob Troyer, made clear there will be no change in his stance locally, saying his office has “already” been applying the principles laid out by Sessions in its marijuana prosecution decisions. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden accused Sessions of pursuing “his extremist anti-marijuana crusade,” while Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said Sessions was “creating unnecessary confusion.”
Law-and-order crackdown “Nevada voters made it clear that the state should be able to enforce its marijuana laws without federal interference. We must respect the will of states while ensuring prosecutorial resources are used effectively,” she said. Sessions — who has made fighting drug trafficking a key Justice Department policy since taking office a year ago as part of President Donald Trump’s administration — has been a vocal opponent of liberalizing marijuana laws.
But he hinted in his confirmation hearing in January 2017 that enforcing federal laws against recreational pot users might not be the best use of Justice Department manpower. During the 2016 election campaign, Trump took a more tolerant stance, saying several times that he would leave the issue up to local authorities. “When you look at what’s happened in Colorado as an example, it’s a local thing,” he told Boston’s WBZ NewsRadio. “I wouldn’t interfere with it. I think that’s something that really is very much up to the local area.” But since becoming president, he has been mum on the subject, supporting Sessions’ tough law-and-order policies. Sessions’ announcement sent the shares of US companies in the legal marijuana trade plummeting between 13 and 31%. Canadian pot companies were also hit, though losses were mostly under 10%.
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
‘Virtual gold’ may glitter, but mining it can be really dirty Paris, Dec 25, 2017 -- As the poster child for the growing ranks of computer-generated currencies, bitcoin’s recent stratospheric price rises have propelled it from the chat forum-hosted depths of nerddom into the global consciousness. As it rose from under US$1,000 to over US$19,500 at one point this year, hordes of tech-savvy punters have rushed in to buy, while any investors can now do the same on the US futures markets. Bitcoin has been called virtual gold, in part because it is created in a process that insiders call mining. And like real mining, it can be dirty. That’s because joining the online gold rush to mine the coins that are streams of computer code requires high-powered rigs that consume considerable amounts of electricity to do the virtual equivalent of blasting through rock by solving a string of highly complex computer algorithms. Depending on how the electricity used for mining is generated, the virtual currency can have a very real impact by adding pollutants into the air and contributing to global warming. Out of the bedroom What barely five years ago was a hobby for “bedroom miners” has mushroomed into a massive, but unregulated, industry that some observers fear is a bubble waiting to explode, potentially causing damage sim-
ilar to the sub-prime mortgages fiasco that caused the global economic crisis a decade ago. Mining involves “adding value by dedicating computational resources to verify transactions in a huge public ledger called a ‘blockchain’,” explained Julian Oliver, a New Zealander who uses wind power to mine ZCash — a bitcoin cousin. The miners are thus providing the computer resources for their currency’s trading system to operate. But the number-crunching to pocket coins requires ever more powerful hardware and the means to keep them running, Oliver said. “At current bitcoin prices things are looking good for miners,” he said. “But it’s a huge use of energy, whatever the profit margins (and is) not remotely sustainable.” Specialist studies estimate the total annual energy output of the hundreds of thousands of dedicated mining machines worldwide at 35 terawatt hours, according to the Digiconomist website — some 25% up on last year.
But focusing on the electricity consumption of cryptocurrency mining “ought not to overshadow pre-existing environmental costs of the traditional financial system,” said Oliver, as “cash needs to be printed and transported and banks run off the back of data centres.” Cleaning up Nadine Damblon, chief executive of HydroMiner, which uses hydroelectric power to mine in the Austrian Alps, said there is a need for greater use of renewables in the industry as Asian miners often rely on coal-generated electricity. Hydroelectric can play a leading role as “one of the most environmentally friendly ways to generate power,” she said. Damblon believes the market will help solve the problem. “I think in the case of bitcoin mining the capital will flow into more efficient hardware that will need less energy,” said Damblon. The scale of the long-term environmental threat that mining poses is unclear, as is the degree to which it could act as a catalyst for greater take-up of renewables. In its Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study, the Cambridge Centre of Alternative Finance found that nearly three-quarters of all major mining zones are in China and the United States.
That puts it on the level of energy consumption of Denmark.
But the likes of Iceland and Austria are gaining ground. Not only do they offer clean hydroelectric power, but also cold temperatures that help save on cooling computer equipment, which can account for up to a third of energy needs.
Each transaction consumes roughly 100 kWh — the equivalent of running a lightbulb for three months. By contrast, a credit card transaction uses about 0.2 kWh.
What is undeniable, said the report, is that “the mining sector has evolved in a short time from a hobby activity performed on personal computers into a professional
and capital-intensive industry with its own value chain.” As for how many bitcoin mines or miners there are now, nobody really knows. Green vs anarchist In terms of large-scale mines “there are perhaps about a hundred,” said French information technology specialist Marc Bevand. “Maybe (there are) a few thousand smaller ones” using “one or two racks” of machines rather than the tens of thousands in the largest Asian mines, said San Francisco-based Bevand. The push for scale to save on energy costs and go green also risks pushing bitcoin against its libertarian, or even anarchist, founding philosophy. Bitcoin was created to not only allow secure and anonymous transactions, but for the system to be controlled by users and not by a government or corporation. The push for scale “would concentrate number-crunching power in the hands of the richest or throw into question bitcoin’s (decentralised) philosophy,” said Teunis Brosens, a senior economist with ING bank. He forecasts that eventually “banks will create private blockchains which will not face the problems of scale or regulation” which bitcoin is coming up against.
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Israel central bank mulls issuing digital currency for faster payments Jerusalem, Dec 25, 2017 -- The Bank of Israel is examining issuing digital currency as a means of creating a faster payments system as well as reducing the amount of cash in the economy, a central bank source said on Sunday, though he stressed no decision had yet been made. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the government was ready to legislate or include the issue in its 2019 budget and economic package if the central bank gave the green light. The emergence of bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies has led some economists to predict the technology could be used one day across entire economies, with digital currencies created by central banks.
But the Israeli source said any digital currency introduced by the country’s central bank would be centralized, safe and abide by money laundering rules – in contrast to bitcoin and its peers, which are decentralized and whose value has often oscillated wildly. “Central banks around the world are examining (the use of digital currencies) so we should as well,” the Israeli source told Reuters. The Bank of Israel declined to comment on the issue. Cryptocurrencies allow parties to transact payments directly without a central intermediary, by means of blockchain technology that uses a shared ledger that verifies, records and settles transactions in a matter of minutes.
The Israeli government has been seeking to limit the amount of cash in the economy for a few years since the black economy is estimated at some 22 percent of national output. Last month, the Bank of Israel published a public consultation asking for proposals for the creation of at least one infrastructure that would support immediate payments in Israel, similar to that used in Britain and Sweden. In such a system, the initiator of the payment is debited immediately and the beneficiary is credited within a very short period of time, the central bank said, adding payments can be made 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A fast payments system is one option, while “a central bank- issued
digital currency is another form of an advanced payments system which currently does not exist,” the source said. Last week, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he saw “fundamental problems” with the idea of a digital currency issued by a central bank that could be used by the general public.
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
Samsung Galaxy S9: More powerful, but not much innovation The Business Korea website reports that production of the Samsung Galaxy S9 is expected to begin in early January 2018, followed by a market launch in March. Customers might be disappointed in the lack of major innovation: the design of this new flagship smartphone is not likely to be very different from the current S8 (5.8-inch) and S8 Plus (6.2-inch) range. Like the previous models, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will have a Super AMOLED Infinity curved, edgeto-edge display. The only notable difference is that Samsung has apparently decided to move
the fingerprint scanner below the camera on the back of the phone. Aside from the difference in size, it’s reported that in a first for Samsung, the Galaxy S9 will have 4GB of RAM and a single-lens rear camera, and the Galaxy S9 Plus will have 6GB of RAM and a dual-lens camera. That would align Samsung with Apple’s long-standing differential model which can currently be seen in the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Each of the new Samsung phones is expected to have 64GB of storage space, with the option of adding a microSD card.
In terms of operating power, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus will have the latest-generation processors, namely either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 or the Exynos 9810, depending on the country. It’s also worth noting that like their predecessors, the S9 and S9 Plus are expected to have a headphone jack, in contrast to the trend towards removing this feature over at Samsung’s rivals. Following rumors that the new handset would be revealed at the CES in Las Vegas in January 2018, it now seems that
Samsung has opted for a more logical launch schedule, namely an unveiling at the end of February, either at the Mobile World Congress tech conference or at a dedicated event, and then a market launch in early March, with sufficient stock produced in two months.
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
2018’s biggest movies: Part 1 Maze Runner: The Death Cure January 26, 2018 Dylan O’Brien returns to take his young crew inside a dangerous labyrinthine metropolis in this trilogy closer. The 15:17 to Paris February 9, 2018 Clint Eastwood’s retelling of the true story of an anti-terrorist intervention upon a high-speed train to the French capital, starring the incident’s three heroes as themselves. Black Panther February 16, 2018 The super-powered king of Wakanda, introduced in “Captain America: Civil War,” returns to his homeland to see off a rival for his throne, deciding the fate of the world in the process. Annihilation February 23, 2018 Starring Nathalie Portman as a biologist on a rescue mission into a wildly overgrown forest that hides wondrous and fearsome forms of life. The second movie from “Ex Machina” director Alex Garland. A Wrinkle in Time March 9, 2018 Ava DuVernay directs a stellar cast in this version of Madeleine L’Engle’s children’s fiction classic.
Ready Player One March 30, 2018 Iconic tribute or calculated nostalgia-bomb mixing 1980s memorabilia with a sci-fi virtual reality easter egg hunt. Directed by Steven Spielberg. The Avengers: Infinity War May 4, 2018 Iron Man and Captain America must reunite their respective teams, with a little help from the Guardians of the Galaxy, to save the world from the mighty Thanos. Solo: A Star Wars Story May 25, 2018 Prequel adventure with Alden Ehrenreich as a younger version of the buccaneering Han Solo, and completed by director Ron Howard after Phil Lord and Christopher Miller departed late on. Deadpool 2 June 1, 2018 Irreverent humor and gut-punching superhero action with Ryan Reynolds as the title character, and Josh Brolin in the first of four appearances as military mutant Cable. David Leitch of “John Wick” directs.
‘Jeopardy’ host Alex Trebek on medical leave, plans to return ‘very soon’ Los Angeles, January 5, 2018 -“Jeopardy” host Alex Trebek is taking a break from taping episodes of the US television quiz show to recover from surgery to remove blood clots on the brain, he said in a video message released on Thursday. “The prognosis is excellent, and I expect to be back in the studio taping more ‘Jeopardy’ programs very, very soon,” Trebek, seated in what appeared to be a living room, said in the video. The syndicated program “Jeopardy” is viewed by 23 million people each week, making it the top-rated quiz show on US television. Trebek’s medical leave of absence is not expected to affect the broadcast schedule for the show, which is taped months in advance. The only change will be to the program’s College Championship, which will air in April, the “Jeopardy” show said in a statement. It had previously been set for broadcast in February.
Trebek, 77, fell and hit his head in October, the “Jeopardy” statement said, and was admitted on December 15 to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles due to complications from the fall. He underwent surgery to remove a subdural hematoma on December 16 and spent Christmas at home with his family, the statement said. Trebek, who is from a nickel-mining town in Ontario, Canada, suffered a heart attack in 2012 and was hospitalized for another in 2007.
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
How to switch to a plant-based diet in 2018 Many studies this year have shown how cutting down on meat and switching to a mainly plant-based diet can boost health. Lowering cholesterol, improving heart health, staving off memory loss — adding more fruit and veg into your diet can have benefits for everyone. With plant-based foods also set to be a top food trend for 2018, here are some tips on how to eat less meat next year, without missing out on any essential nutrients. Switch from fish to nuts for omega-3 and omega-6 Omega-3 and -6 are essential fatty acids important for our immune system, brain, nerves and eyes. Our bodies cannot make them, so we must ensure we get them from our diet. But as the most common source is fish, those looking to go veggie or vegan next year will have to look elsewhere. Switching to nuts and seeds such as hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and soya spread will ensure that you are topping up levels of the essential omega-6 fat linoleic acid (LA), while adding chia seeds, ground lin-
seed, hemp seeds and walnuts to your diet will provide sufficient amounts of the essential omega-3 fat alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). Switch from dairy to leafy greens for calcium Calcium keeps bones and teeth strong and healthy and is involved in the functioning of the nervous system, blood clotting, and controlling your muscles. Although it’s a common belief that the best source of calcium is milk and other dairy products, there are many other, non-animal, plant-based sources of the mineral. It is found in leafy green vegetables kale, pak choi, spring greens, and okra, which are great sources of fibre and other vitamins and minerals. Switch from seafood to seeds for zinc Seafood and red meat are common sources of zinc, needed for a variety of different functions in the body, includ-
ing fighting infection, healing wounds, and growth and development.
oranges, strawberries, pineapples and grapefruit to your iron-rich foods.
However, seeds such as chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds are rich in the mineral, as are legumes such as beans, chickpeas, lentils, and nuts like walnuts and cashew nuts.
And finally…switch from bland to seasoned
Switch from meat to fruit and vegetables for iron Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world, and meat is one of the richest sources of the mineral. However, for those wanting to cut down on meat next year, the good news is that plenty of plant foods contain good levels of iron, including fruits and vegetables such as kale, figs, and dried apricots. It’s also found in lentils, chickpeas, beans, tofu, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds. To increase absorption even further, add fruit and vegetables rich in vitamin C such as peppers, broccoli, cabbage, kiwi fruit,
If you struggle to eat your greens, then a study from the University of Illinois may have found a way to make them more tempting. Published early this year, the study found that adults are significantly more likely to eat vegetables if they are seasoned with herbs and spices when compared to serving them plain and steamed. The team also commented that the findings are particularly important for men and younger adults, who tend to eat fewer plant-based foods overall than women and older adults.
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Shoe-Bahn: Berliners queue for sneaker-train tickets Berlin, Jan 15, 2018 — Hundreds of people braved sub-zero temperatures to camp out overnight in Berlin, in hopes of buying today a pair of Adidas sneakers that also offers free subway travel. Retailing at €180 (US$220), the limited edition shoes bearing the design of seat covers on Berlin’s U-Bahn trains, are also fitted with an annual ticket normally costing €761, sewn into the tongue of the shoe, a key draw for commuters seeking a deal. “I came from Leipzig on Saturday and am 73rd in the queue,” said Andreas Leu, who was wrapped up in a big red sleeping bag. “What’s most interesting is the ticket and there are only 500 pairs. I’m keeping it for my collection,” he added. Julian Kienst, who was standing next to Leu, said: “It helps me save quite a lot of money that I can use for other things, particularly since I don’t make that much.”
Berlin’s public transport operator BVG had produced the shoes in partnership with German sportswear giant Adidas for the train network’s 90th birthday. Celebrating the sneakers’ popularity in its typical ironic fashion on Twitter, the BVG tweeted: “Letting people wait — it’s one of our superpowers.” The BVG’s marketing stunt however came under fire, with Die Welt daily calling the hype over the sneakers “absurd”. The conservative newspaper noted that few pairs of the shoes would likely end up on commuters’ feet as they will be more valuable if kept in mint condition as collectors’ items. Barely minutes after the sneakers went on sale at 10am, some were being offered online at up to €1,150 — around six times their original price.
Quirky accessories rule at Milan Men’s Fashion Week Milan, Jan 16 , 2018— The Fall/Winter 2018 fashion collections currently showing at Milan Men’s Fashion Week might be the main event on the fashion circuit right now, but quirky and outrageous accessories have also been vying for attention. Specs Eyewear is proving to be one of the key trends at Milan this year, with several of the big Italian fashion houses taking a nostalgic and retro approach to spectacles. This proved to be the case at Dolce & Gabbana, where wirerimmed glasses were worn in classic aviator shapes for a modern intellectual look, and teamed with sleek side partings for a dapper finish. Crowns The Dolce & Gabbana show was named ‘Kings Angels’, and the Italian house took the theme literally by debuting what might be the most covetable accessory of AW18 — the crown. There were two versions on show on the catwalk — a plush blue velvet
design with gold hardware that was teamed with a jacquard suit and patchwork denim coat, and a wine-coloured version that lent a dash of regality to an otherwise casual jacquard trouser and turtleneck sweater ensemble. Masks Never one to be overshadowed, designer Jeremy Scott also came up with his own attention-grabbing accessory for the Moschino show, in the form of subversive-looking black latex masks and studded leather masks that almost entirely covered the faces of the models. Leather caps were also a recurring feature throughout the presentation, as well as the occasional chin strap.
Georgia Asian Times Janaury 1-15, 2018
Liverpool had no option but to sell Coutinho, coach says Liverpool, January 13, 2018 -- After months of speculation, the 25-year-old Brazilian joined the Spanish club for 140 million pounds in what he described as his “dream move”. Liverpool-had-no-option-but-tosell-CoutinhoLiverpool fought “until the last second” to convince Philippe Coutinho to stay at Anfield but ultimately had no other option than sell him to Barcelona, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said on Friday. After months of speculation, the 25-year-old Brazilian joined the Spanish club for 140 million pounds in what he described as his “dream move”. The sale surprised many on Merseyside, particularly after Liverpool fought so hard to keep Coutinho in August when the owners made clear that the Reds should no longer be seen as “a selling club”. Yet that strident tone changed ahead of the latest transfer window and, in his first public comment since Coutinho’s sale, Klopp made clear that Liverpool felt they had no choice but to negotiate the move. “There was no other option,” said
Klopp at a news conference ahead of the Premier League game against Manchester City on Sunday. ”If someone is angry or disappointed it could be the manager but I‘m not. We tried everything to convince Phil to stay here. ”This was his dream. He would only leave Liverpool for one club. The club was fighting until the last second to keep Phil. It would have been difficult to say no and then use him in the second half of the season. “Phil, what a character, but he still wanted to leave. We have to make the best of it. We still have fantastic players here.” Klopp stressed that he has lost biggame players previously as a manager and called on everyone to move on from Coutinho’s departure. “We lost plenty of players at Dortmund. You always have to react. It’s about the atmosphere in the club. If we get a free kick on Sunday and anyone is thinking ‘Phil!’ that wouldn’t be too cool,” he said
Potential business Although Liverpool have been linked with several high-profile replacements for Coutinho, Klopp gave little away and straight-batted suggestions they are negotiating to bring in Naby Keita from RB Leipzig ahead of his scheduled arrival in the close season. Klopp stressed that if the club do any business “we want right before expensive”. “First of all we have to replace (Coutinho) internally. We have our eyes open in this window but we won’t do crazy things,” he said. “We don’t need to replace him, we need to step up. We have played fantastic football without Phil. We only have to carry on.” On Sunday Liverpool get their first opportunity against the Premier League’s runaway leaders City, who beat them 5-0 in the reverse fixture, a game that saw Sadio Mane sent off. “The red card changed the game and maybe for Man City the season,” said Klopp, who confirmed that Mo Salah is likely to return after recovering from
the thigh strain that caused him to miss the past two matches. ”He’s doing fantastically well. If nothing happens in this moment Mo is back. “In a football way we should look to clarify something (after the 5-0 defeat). We need to show we can cause them problems and make their life difficult. It’s Anfield, I‘m really looking forward to it.” Klopp said his side will not be fazed by City, who have swept all before them this season and enjoy an 18-point advantage over fourth-placed Liverpool. ”If you are not brave in the things you do, you have another problem,“ he said. ”Use the past, don’t suffer it. You have to show up in a game like this. If you react to the things they do, you will lose. We need to show up. That’s how it is. “It’s interesting to play against City. They play really good and if you don’t respect that, you have a problem. But if you are not brave in your game, you will also have a problem.”
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Exuberant Conte seeks respite in yoga Japan on Olympic drive to get rid of squat toilets Tokyo, Jnuary 5, 2018 --: Japan has launched a campaign to convert unpopular Asianstyle squat toilets into sit-on “western” models, as the nation prepares to welcome tens of millions of foreign tourists in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The high-tech country is famous for its toilet technology that can bewilder foreign visitors, with features ranging from seat warming to bidet functions with variable pressure. But to the surprise of some and the dismay of many caught short, several toilets in public places are traditional “squatting” facilities. About 40% of toilets at 4,000 locations in popular tourist spots are “squatters”, according to the Japan Tourism Agency.
The government is offering to shoulder one-third of the costs to install sit-on types, complete with the bidet function expected of a Japanese toilet, officials said. A survey by major toilet maker TOTO has found more than eight out of 10 foreign tourists prefer sit-on types, said Akihiko Yamakoshi, an official at the government’s Japan Tourism Agency. “As we aim to receive 40 million foreign visitors (a year), we want them to enjoy touring Japan with as little stress as possible,” he said. Some foreign tourists simply do not know how to use old Japanese-style toilets while others complain they are unsanitary, he said. The number of foreign visi-
London, Janaury 3, 2018 -Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is renowned for his livewire touchline behaviour, sometimes diving into the crowd when his side score, and he has revealed that he finds relaxation in yoga. The 48-year-old Italian has apparently alienated some members of the Chelsea dressing room with his demanding training sessions but has admitted that even he needs to take a break himself, especially over the busy holiday period.
is a big effort not only for my players but also for me,” said Conte. Conte, whose side face Arsenal in the Premier League later on Wednesday, says having a trainer on the Chelsea staff who is an expert in relaxation techniques has been a real boon. “This is good, personally I like it and am very interested in yoga. I like to read books about these topics,” he said.
“I think I am well trained for this but to play every three days
tors to Japan has been hitting records in recent years. More than 26 million foreign tourists visited Japan in the 11 months of 2017, already exceeding the annual record of 24 million set in 2016. The government aims to boost the number to 40 million by 2020 when Tokyo hosts the Summer Games.
The toilet conversion is mainly designed for foreign tourists, but it could also help elderly Japanese who may have difficulty in squatting down, said Yamakoshi.
Georgia Asian Times January 1-15, 2018
Married heart patients more likely than singles to survive Atlanta, January 5, 2018 -- People with heart disease have better longterm survival odds when they are married, a recent US study suggests. Compared to divorced, widowed, and never-married peers, who were up to 71% percent more likely to die during a follow-up of several years, married patients also had fewer heart risk factors like high blood pressure and were more likely to be on heart medications. “We measured biomarkers including cholesterol, high blood pressure, and presence of diabetes. True, unmarried patients are dying more because they have these conditions. But just the marital status in and of itself is an independent risk factor,” senior study author Dr Arshed Quyyumi of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta told Reuters in a phone interview. Quyyumi and his team looked at the relationship between marital status and incidence of cardiovascular death, heart attack and death from any cause in 6,051 men and women who had their clogged heart arteries cleared at Emory Healthcare hospitals between 2003 and 2015. Follow-up ranged from 1.7 to 6.7 years, averaging about three and a half years. Overall, the unmarried patients were 1.45 times as likely as the married patients to experience a cardiovascular event leading to death, 1.52 times as likely to have a heart attack and 1.24 times as likely to die from any cause during the follow-up period, the researchers report in the Journal of the American Heart Association. Widows fared the worst, with a 71% higher likelihood of heart attack or cardiovascular death compared to married patients. Divorced, separated and never-married patients had about 40% higher odds for those events.
Past research has found that being married is associated with better health and survival overall, the study team notes, although the mechanisms involved need further study. “It’s a culmination of factors,” said Dr Rahul Potluri of Aston Medical School in Birmingham, UK, who wasn’t involved in the study. “Benefits of marriage include the impetus to look after one’s health. There’s an increased likelihood to seek and obtain healthcare for the detection of chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Keeping away from smoking due to a ‘nagging partner’ can also play a role,” he said. People with a spouse tend to have a greater purpose in life and are more likely to take responsibility for their health through diet, exercise, and medication adherence, Quyyumi noted. But when a significant other is no longer in the picture, compliance starts to slip. Other possible explanations for the apparent protective effects of marriage include a lack of social support combined with acute stresses that come with divorce, extended bereavement followed by the loss of a loved one and the reduced interaction that comes with living alone, he said. A lack of social support has been thought to worsen outcomes in cardiac patients after divorce, Quyyumi said, suggesting that the emotional and financial stress of divorce may play a role in adverse outcomes. “But it’s important to remember that divorce comes in different shades,” he added. “It’s a mixed bag. For some it is stressful, but for many it can be a relief. Interestingly, previous studies have demonstrated that remarriage may attenuate the increased risk of
Alcohol may cause cancer by damaging stem cell DNA, says study London, January 5, 2018 - Drinking alcohol may cause irreversible damage to the DNA of stem cells and increase the risk of developing certain cancers, a new study has revealed, reports Xinhua news agency. Using genetically-modified mice, British scientists found that acetaldehyde, a toxin produced as the body processes alcohol, can slice through the DNA within blood stem cells and cause permanent damage. In the study, published recently in the journal Nature, the mice lost their ability to reproduce fresh blood after being given diluted alcohol for ten days. Sequencing the genome of the stem cells indicated that their DNA had been scrambled to the point that the cells no longer functioned. When healthy stem cells are faulty, they can give rise to cancerous cells, particularly in the mouth, throat, oesophagus, breast, and so on.
a cardiac event often observed after divorce.” In the widowed group, it may have to do with psychological and behavioral events that accompany life’s course. “Some people give up after the loss of a spouse. Bereavement shouldn’t be taken lightly and people who find themselves sick and alone must be aware that they are at a greater risk of a secondary cardiovascular occurrence, or worse, death,” Quyyumi said.
The effects of such damage can be neutralized, however, by the body’s two-layer defense mechanism. The first layer is a protective enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2), which prevents build-ups of acetaldehyde, and the second repairs the DNA damage. In the study, mice lacking ALDH2 suffered four times as damage compared with the other ones. About 8% of the world’s population, mostly those of East Asian ancestry, are born with a deficiency in ALDH2. “Our study highlights that not being able to process alcohol effectively can lead to an even higher risk of alcohol-related DNA damage and therefore certain cancers,” said Ketan Patel, who led the research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
“We obviously cannot prescribe marriage to patients,” Potluri said. “But we can emphasize the role of relationships and friendships in managing coronary artery disease.” “Try to regain a sense of purpose,” Quyyumi said. “Whether that’s finding another partner to compensate for the social support one has lost, becoming more involved in your children’s family or finding a church group. These things all help a patient to once again become more interested in saving their own life.”
Janaury 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Japanese tycoon loans Basquiat masterpiece to Brooklyn New York, January 12, 2018 -- A Basquiat masterpiece, bought by a Japanese billionaire for a record US$110.5 million, will make its museum debut this month, going on display in the artist’s home borough of Brooklyn.
Basquiat was born in Brooklyn to Haitian and Puerto Rican parents. He died 30 years ago, in 1988, of an overdose aged just 27 after a fleeting eight-year career.
Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 “Untitled” has been virtually unseen in public and never previously been exhibited in a museum. It depicts a skull-like head in oil-stick, acrylic and spray paint, and was bought at Sotheby’s last May by Yusaku Maezawa.
He enjoys a stratospheric following, his work snapped up by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jay-Z, but experts say his legacy has been largely confined to popular culture while museums have been accused of downplaying his stature.
The US$110.5 million price tag set a new auction record for Basquiat and a record for the work of any US artist at auction.
The subject of much of Basquiat’s work, ordeals endured by blacks in America, has found renewed resonance in the wake of nationwide US protests since 2014 about the shootings of unarmed black men by police.
“My wish to share this masterpiece with as many people as possible begins in Basquiat’s home town of Brooklyn,” Maezawa wrote on his Instagram account Thursday.
The Brooklyn Museum said “Untitled” would be on view from January 26 to March 11. It will then go on a world tour, before being housed
eventually in a museum that Maezawa is building in his home town of Chiba, Japan, the museum added. “I am thrilled to be sending Basquiat’s masterpiece home to Brooklyn,” said the 42-year-old Japanese entrepreneur in a statement released by the museum. “It is my hope that through the exhibition and extensive programming accompanying it, the young people of the borough will be inspired by their local hero, just as he has inspired so many of us around the world.” An aspiring rock star as a teen, Maezawa founded Start Today in 1998, which operates Japan’s largest online fashion mall, ZOZOTOWN. Today, he is the 14th richest person in Japan with a fortune of US$3 billion, according to Forbes. Leonardo da Vinci’s reputed “Salva-
tor Mundi” sold for US$450.3 million at Christie’s last November, becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction.
Georgia Asian Times Janaury 1-15, 2018
Marvel creates Chinese superheroes to draw Asia fans Manila, Jan 12, 2018 -- Chinese superheroes will soon be joining the pantheon of larger-than-life Marvel universe mainstays Spider-Man, Iron Man and the X-Men, a company official said as the comic book giant makes a major thrust into Asia.
Japan’s new crypto-currency crooners sing the bitcoin beats Tokyo, January 10, 2018 -- Move over AKB48: Japan has a new all-girl “idol” band -the Virtual Currency Girls – on a mission to educate the public about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Each of the eight girls in the band, known in Japanese as “Kasotsuka Shojo”, plays a character representing a virtual currency such as bitcoin, ethereum or ripple. Promotional material shows the performers wearing character masks, frilly mini-skirts and “maid” aprons complete with knee-high socks.
“We want to promote the idea through entertainment that virtual currencies are not just a tool for speculation but are a wonderful technology that will shape the future,” said the group’s leader Rara Naruse, 18, in an online statement. In their debut song, “The Moon and Virtual Currencies and Me”, they warn against fraudulent operators and urge people to make sure of their online security. The group is tapping into a rich seam in Japan, where bitcoin is recognised as legal tender.
The Virtual Currency Girls are due to hold their debut live concert in Tokyo on Friday, according to their management company Cinderella Academy.
Nearly one-third of global bitcoin transactions in December were denominated in yen, according to specialised website jpbitcoin.com.
In keeping with the theme, payment for merchandise will be accepted only in virtual currencies.
The group’s launch comes on the heels of a recent market frenzy which boosted bitcoin up to nearly US$20,000.
As part of a push to grow its Asia fanbase, the Disney-owned franchise has released mobile games in China, opened “Marvel Stores” in South Korea and is searching for artistic talent in the Philippines, Marvel editor-in-chief C.B. Cebulski said. “We have been making great strides especially in Asia. We try to hire more Asian creators, writers and artists to bring a piece of their culture to Marvel comics,” he said in Manila where he visited a major university for fresh talent.
compared to mainstays like Captain America or the Hulk. But this is changing, he said. “We want to have stories that are reflective of every culture.” There is huge fan expectation over Marvel’s latest flagship movie — Black Panther — which will be released worldwide next month. The film stars Chadwick Boseman playing Marvel’s breakthrough black superhero T’Challa, a king of a fictional African nation who first featured in the company’s comic books in the late 1960s. Luke Cage, another popular black Marvel superhero, has also had a recent revival through a popular TV series on Netflix.
The comic giant plans to introduce two new Chinese superheroes: “Sword Master” and “Aero” who will be based in China, Cebulski added.
But Asian superheroes are still comparatively rare in the Marvel universe despite the franchise’s growing popularity there.
“They are going to be heavily based on Chinese culture and Chinese mythology but set in the modern world and they will interact with the other heroes (in the Marvel universe),” he said.
In the Philippines, a former US colony, Marvel is already deeply ingrained in the nation’s popular culture, said Cebulski.
These new characters will be drawn in the ‘manga’ style of Japanese comics that is more popular in Asia, he added. Cebulski, who has lived the last two years in Asia, serving as Marvel’s vice president for the region, conceded that Marvel had not given Asian characters prominent positions in the past
Filipino illustrators in turn have also provided art for Marvel comics since the 1970s. People from the Southeast Asian nation are now the third largest nationality of artists employed by Marvel, just behind Americans and Italians, Cebulski said.
January 1-15, 2018 Georgia Asian Times
Where to travel in 2018 if you’re on a budget
Japan’s Ishigaki named 2018’s top rising destination Tokyo, Jan 9, 2018 — Savvy, curious travelers who understand that Japan is more than just Tokyo have had Ishigaki, Japan on their travel radar, as the island has emerged the top trending spot in the 2018 edition of TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise ranking. A stark contrast to the fast-paced, technologically-advanced society of fluorescent-lit Tokyo, Ishigaki is located in Japan’s south-western Okinawa Prefecture, and is growing increasingly popular as a tourist destination for tired urbanites who can snorkel, dive, surf and soak along its beaches. The area is also known for its colorful coral reefs, bright blue ocean waters, sugarcane fields, lush mountainside and mangroves. Destinations on TripAdvisor’s annual list of top rising places are often lesser-known, emerging destinations set on the fringes of the mainstream tourist radar. Winners are selected by measuring year-over-year increases in positive traveler review ratings. Winners have also experienced an increase in search traffic and booking interest. Rounding out the top five spots on the list are Kapaa, Hawaii; Nairobi,
Kenya; Halifax, Canada; and Gdansk, Poland. Kapaa, Hawaii is also the top rising US destination of 2018. “The Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise award winners are a great source of inspiration for travelers interested in going somewhere exciting that’s emerging in popularity,” said Brooke Ferencsik, senior director of communications for TripAdvisor in a statement. “These winners were based on destination feedback and interest from the TripAdvisor community, and a common thread is that they all have outstanding accommodations, wonderful restaurants and exceptional attractions for every travel budget.” Travellers’ Choice Destinations on the Rise: 1. Ishigaki, Japan 2. Kapaa, Hawaii 3. Nairobi, Kenya 4. Halifax, Canada 5. Gdansk, Poland 6. San Jose, Costa Rica 7. Riga, Latvia 8. Rovinj, Croatia 9. Nerja, Spain 10. Casablanca, Morocco
New York, Jan 4, 2018 — The rise of ultra-low-budget airlines and new flight classes like basic coach herald an even more affordable year for air travel in 2018, says online travel agent Hipmunk, and they have the fares to prove it. After comparing the average price for flight bookings departing the US in 2017 and 2018, Hipmunk estimates that international booking prices have dropped six per cent in 2018 compared to last year. Likewise, the average price of domestic flights have dropped up to 18 per cent for US travellers. For budget-conscious travellers already looking forward to planning out their escapades for 2018, here’s a look at some of the cheapest international and domestic destinations this year: International destinations from the US: La Paz, Bolivia, average airfare in 2018: US$737, -26 per cent change from 2017 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, US$816, -24 per cent change from 2017
Frankfurt, Germany, US$1,036, -14 per cent change from 2017 Rome, Italy, US$917, 12 per cent change from 2017 London, England, US$762, -11 per cent change from 2017 Copenhagen, Denmark, US$751, -11 per cent change from 2017 Cheap domestic destinations 2018: Atlanta, GA, US$250, -18 per cent change 2017 Key West, FL, US$475, -16 per cent change from 2017 San Antonio, TX, US$340, -16 per cent change from 2017 Washington DC, US$333, -15 per cent change from 2017 Richmond, VA, US US$390, -13 per cent change from 2017 Cincinnati, OH, US US$347, -13 per cent change from 2017 Minneapolis, MN, US US$289, -13 per cent change from 2017
Nice, France US$1,231, -19 per cent change from 2017
Reno, NV, US US$426, -13 per cent change from 2017
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, US$1,051, -19 per cent change from 2017
New York City, NY, US$299, -12 per cent change from 2017
Bergen, Norway, US$790, -16 per cent change from 2017
Albuquerque, NM, US$341, -11 per cent change from 2017
Phuket, Thailand, US$1,028, -14 per cent change from 2017
Georgia Asian Times cover the multicultural Asian American community in metro Atlanta and Georgia.